O Stupid Christmas Tree  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

While I love a nice real tree, I have no shame about using the fake ones whenever possible. For years I have walked by the $300-400 pre-lit mega-trees you see in the stores. "Pre-lit" sounded so appealing - I hate dealing with tangled strands of Christmas lights. In fact, usually I toss the lights out year after year - for $2.99 a box I'd rather just buy new ones every Christmas. But a pre-lit tree? I mean, c'mon - stand it up, plug it in...instant Christmas! Still, could never justify the expense. I just stuck it out with my fake Charlie-Brown model. But the dream never died.

And then, last year, in the days after Christmas when all that Christmas junk is 70% off, I did it. I saw a big, very real looking pre-lit tree for next to nothing. I bought it. (Arguably the biggest single example of pre-planning in my life.)

So, tonight was "decorate the tree" night. After a year of waiting (and years more dreaming of the moment) I was anxious to unveil the new tree. To see its lights twinkle upon the majestic branches with nary a bit of effort from me except to flip the switch. I stood it up, plugged it in, and, voila! Some lights. Yep - you heard me...some. Half the lights were out, others were dim. So, how does one fix a pre-lit tree? Send it in and get it back in March? I could try returning it, but I got it on 75%-off sale and well over the 90-days return policy. And who even keeps their receipts from a year-old impulse buy?

So, then, defeated after a lengthy attempt to resolve the issue, I decided to make the best of it. I can't fix these lights, but its still a better looking tree than my old fake tree, so I'll just take these lights off, and use the lights I always used on the other tree. This, my friends, was a bad call. I spent the next 2-1/2 hours wire-clipping and yanking light strands that had seemingly been extra-wrapped around every inch of fake branch available. It was as if the factory workers received bonuses for the amount of knots and wrap-arounds they could manage on each strand. It was like a box full of loose Slinkys. Nightmare.

What was supposed to be the fulfillment of a long-standing desire for a simple, yet elegant fake tree, turned into one of the most frustrating, annoying and laborious evenings of the season.

Bah humbug.

(And no, the picture isn't the actual tree. But it is how I see it in my head now.)

This entry was posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at Monday, December 08, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I have always just left the old ones on there and wrapped the additional $2.99/box strands around them.
Allison and I were thrilled the first time we did a 'fake and pre-lit' tree. I remember putting A into B and topping it off with C and plugging it in. It was magical.
...getting it BACK in the box a few weeks from now will be your next blog.
Ten bucks if you can get it in.

12/09/2008 4:43 AM

nice...I'll be posting soon with our decorations. Once you go pre-lit, you never go back. Don't give up on the pre-lit ones. They rock.

12/09/2008 8:07 AM

You should have listened to your wife! No pity here babe!

12/13/2008 8:23 PM

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